American Hospital Association Says Medicare’s Value-Based Purchasing Could Put Hospital Revenue at Risk

Where hospital margins to be squeezed, that would place hospital laboratories under greater budget constraints

Hospitals are honing in on Medicare’s new value-based purchasing program quality metrics in an effort to improve patient care—and earn reimbursement rewards. Clinical laboratory managers and pathologists will want to track implementation of this program, because it is one further step forward in Medicare’s plan to move away from fee-for-service reimbursement.

As part of its effort to drive quality improvement at U.S. hospitals, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final rules in 2011 for the first year of its Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program (HVBP). The program is a pay-for-performance initiative that begins in fiscal 2013. Modern Healthcare reported on this story.

“[The HVBP structure] has been very eye-opening to a lot of people because we are not used to being compared that way,” observed Jeff Costello. He is Chief Financial Officer at Memorial Hospital & Health System in South Bend, Indiana. This 526-bed institution is on the latest Thomson Reuters’ 100 Top Hospitals list.